Miami played a solid first 20 minutes to open its four-game road trip.
But once the puck dropped to start the second period, the game went sideways in a historic way for the RedHawks.
No. 4 Denver scored three times in the first 106 seconds of the middle stanza and netted five goals in the opening seven minutes of a six-goal onslaught, as the Pioneers coasted to a 7-0 win over Miami at Magness Arena on Friday.
It was the first time in 27 years that the RedHawks (7-12-2) had allowed at least six goals in a period.
The teams wrap up the weekend series at 8:05 p.m. on Saturday.
RECAP: After a scoreless first period, Denver’s Carter Mazur took a feed from Massimo Rizzo in the slot, juked his way past Miami goalie Ludvig Persson and tucked the puck in on the forehand just 26 seconds into the middle stanza.
Seventy-one seconds later, Mazur skated into the zone unabated after a bad Miami line change, fired the puck on net and McKade Webster batted home the rebound, making it 2-0 on the power play.
Denver won the ensuing draw, Tristan Broz dumped in along the rim and but the puck kicked off the end boards to the a wide-open Aidan Webster for essentially an empty netter, as Persson had skated behind the Miami net to play it.
With 1:46 gone in the second period, Miami called timeout, and RedHawks coach Chris Bergeron could be seen yelling at his team.
Less than five minutes later, Broz stripped MU’s John Waldron in the high slot and caromed an outlet pass off the boards and through all three zones to a streaking Carter King, who beat Persson on the breakaway glove side.
King found the net again 41 seconds later when he shoveled home a pass by Shai Buium, after Buium juked through two defenders at the right point and penetrated the faceoff circle.
With 4:55 left in the middle frame, Denver connected for its sixth goal of the period when Jack Devine found a wide-open Casey Dornbach in left faceoff circle, who corralled it then whipped it into the far side of the net.
The Pioneers extended their lead to seven 4-on-4 when Dornbach started a 2-on-1 and centered a pass to a streaking King in the slot, who skated in and backhanded a shot just under the crossbar.
STATS: The last time Miami gave up at least six goals in a period was in a 13-0 loss vs. Michigan on Jan. 6, 1996. The Wolverines actually scored seven times in that frame.
The RedHawks have only allowed seven goals in a period one other time in program history — Jan. 3, 1988 against Western Michigan. Miami lost that game, 10-6.
— MU was shut out for the third time this season, the first time that has occurred since 2018-19 when the RedHawks were blanked five times.
THOUGHTS: A former editor of mine who passed away two years ago once told me it was tacky to use a holiday tie-in for a sports story.
But this was such a Friday-the-13th type of game (R.I.P. Dan Hopwood).
In the first 10 minutes, three fans were drilled with pucks cleared into the stands, two appeared to have been hit in the head, one of which appeared to be an elderly female. We sincerely hope everyone involved is OK.
Miami seemed to surge after killing a mid-first period penalty and was even with Denver the final half of that frame, drawing two penalties.
It’s unclear what transpired in the next 15 minutes of intermission. One rumor is several members of the Colorado Avalanche took over for Pioneers skaters, since they were idle following their recent road trip.
After repeatedly watching every Denver goal, there really wasn’t any common theme, other than the Pioneers are really good and were in top form offensively on Friday.
The first goal was disappointing because if a defenseman is going to pinch, he absolutely can’t turn the puck over deep, and that led the Pioneers’ rush.
A bad line change was crucial on the second marker, a crazy bounce resulted in the third.
Then to Bergeron’s credit, he slows down the game and calls timeout.
Unfortunately, Denver wasn’t even close to finished scoring that period.
A brilliant pass along the boards sprung a breakaway, and NHL-caliber juke led to another goal and an exhausted penalty kill coughed up another.
— Not trying to defend Miami’s performance but Denver — the defending national champion — was home, was fired up after a loss to Alaska, and was at the top of its game.
Miami’s first period was actually very solid, as they sustained pressure in the offensive zone for multiple shifts and had a lucrative power play.
The third wasn’t bad either, as they matched SOG totals with the Pioneers.
LINEUP CHANGES: In a swapping of colors, Red replaced Silver on Friday.
Red Savage returned from World Juniors, where he centered the third line and won the bronze medal for Team USA in the World Juniors in the Canadian Maritimes. Brian Silver was scratched in his place.
On defense, Robby Drazner returned to the ice after sitting for the Niagara finale, and Alex Murray did not dress.
SUMMARY: Miami’s effort wasn’t the issue, and a positive result in Game 2 would make everyone forget about Game 1.